The funeral home business is pretty intense right now. Every funeral home website is one of many services provided by the same few companies. With that landscape, it makes it tough to get found but easy to stand out. We know the web business and SEO (search engine optimization) can be tricky without knowing a thing or two about building websites. In our 20 years+ of experience, here is our list of things that we think are obvious and easy to achieve, but we take them for granted because we assume that everyone knows them.
- Own your domain. Owning your domain to me seems self-explanatory. When someone googles you, It would be best if you came up. Not everyone searches the URL bar and types in a fully qualified domain. Most people go to google, and nine times out of 10 will misspell your name. To combat this, you should own your domain and make sure your website homepage stays optimized for search.
- Use your own email address. Do not use an email address .gmail, .yahoo, or .anybody but .yourbusiness. It is worth the extra few bucks to use Google gsuite, Microsoft Exchange, or a WebHost mail platform that offers mail setup and usage. You got your new slick business cards, and under your name, your email address is [email protected] Your business name is essential to your brand, so make sure you are using it.
- Claim your business listing. Make sure that you are the one who owns your business listing so that you can control it. You can add pics, verify the address, the web address, and business hours, and even offer promotions of listings.
- Online listings of your bereaved. An online digest of the suffering is essential because you have more content on your site. The better off you are. I was taught early on that content is king. It is nice to have online ads, bus ads, radio commercials, and so forth, but your original content can go a long way.
- Google Analytics or some other traffic monitoring service. Google Analytics is free and powerful in giving you insight into where your traffic originates. You can find visitor demographics and keywords that lead people to your website. This is important because it tells you if visitors are hitting your website, how long they stay (bounce rate), and where they are going.
- Original content. With the cookie-cutter website that goes up left and right, you have the right to stand out. Not to say that the cookie-cutter content is not good. I am sure some clever people thought out every word to make that funeral home pre-planning copy stand out and pop. The problem is when 8,000 other funeral homes have the same content. Don’t you believe me? Copy that first line from your “Veterans Overview” page, plug it into your favorite search engine, and see how many results come back. Go ahead, and I’ll wait.
- A contact me form. A Contact form may sound obvious, but trust me, it is not. When a person visits your website, they are looking for something, and believe it or not, sometimes, it is you who they seek. Make sure you give them an excellent prominent button that reads something like “Contact Us” or “Get help with your loved ones’ burial” or something similar.
- A clear call to action. A call to action is just as essential as the one before it. It would help if you told the visitor what to do. Keep in mind that your visitors can be grieving and do not have the capacity or wear to try and find anything. Make it simple; make it plain.
- A social media presence. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok, there are hundreds if not thousands that you can get on and start your social journey. It is an easy way to connect and also an easy way to get lost in the thick of thin things. I am not saying to go on and like everyone’s post about their lunch or the cat videos (there are some good ones out there, trust me), but I want you to have a heartbeat. What is the social media heartbeat? I am glad that you asked. It is something that says, “Here I am.” I may not be shoving my new hearse down your throat, but I do want you to see how we cared for this family, and I want to take the opportunity to wish you a happy valentines day and I want to remind you to give your loved one their flowers while they are still breathing. Have some thought-provoking and engaging posts that users will like and possibly even share. Just be careful; social media was designed by some great minds to be highly addictive, and they did a great time creating it.
- A brand identity. Brand Identity is essential. A logo. It is your face. It is what people see when. If you don’t have one, consider investing in a design firm to create one. Usually, they will assist with the logo, some colors, business cards, envelopes, letterheads, and all the like. Even if your neighbor’s kids are just out of school and want to do something for you, give them that shot but still consider that firm to help finish it off to create the style guide and make sure that the graphics are ready to use in a variety of formats.
These are some things I take for granted; as a funeral service provider, we specialize in marketing, custom web design, and memorabilia. We want to share our years of knowledge with you to keep the industry competitive and help you to grow your funeral home. Let us know if I missed some of it or if you have any questions or comments in comments.